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E3 2012 Coverage

E3 2012 is just getting underway this week, and we’ve got the summary of Microsoft’s big show!

XBox

Microsoft is planning to bring Xbox gaming to PCs, tablets and phones in addition to on the console.

XBox Music

Rumored to be similar to Spotify, XBox Music is a library of over 30 million tracks that will be available on 360 consoles, PCs, tablets, and smart phones. It replaces the Microsoft Zune music service.

Kinect

Kinect will be making inroads everywhere, whether with full motion control for various games or just voice recognition to make things a bit easier. This latter approach may not sound as impressive, but remember that the 360 version of Skyrim used it to great effect, as 360 players of the game didn’t have to navigate menu after menu to get what they wanted. And who doesn’t want to shout ‘Fus Ro Dah!’ at your computer/console and have it work?

Voice commands will work with all apps and services; Bing, Xbox video, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Nike+ Kinect Training

A big collaboration between Microsoft and Nike on Nike+ Kinect training, with emphasis on analysis of workout routines and planning new ones. It integrates with the Nike Fuel system, and should be available this coming holiday season.

Microsoft SmartGlass

A helper/companion app for Xbox’s video and audio services, Microsoft SmartGlass will be available on Windows Phones (of course) but interestingly it’ll also be on Android and iOS.

MS SmartGlass has some immediate comparisons to Nintendo’s Wii U system. The app runs on tablets, allowing them to stream content to the big screen attached to your 360. It’ll also act as a game controller and be able to provide auxiliary information on games you’re playing. For instance, a football game would be able to show a manager’s eye view planning screen while the main view takes care of the field. An MMO might give you tablet-based inventory access while the console keeps you in-game.

It’s not just for gaming though. They showed off how it works with XBox Video, too, with the XBox playing an episode of The Game of Thrones while the SmartGlass app on a tablet displayed information on the locations shown in that episode.

IE for XBox

There was much wailing and rolling of eyes when this news hit the Twitters, but yes, Internet Explorer is coming to the XBox this year. Say what you will, the days of IE6 are fading fast and IE10 is actually pretty good. This solves one of the Xbox’s biggest technology gaps, the lack of a browser. IE will be voice-controlled with Kinect, and Smart Glass enables the user to use a smartphone as a remote control/mouse for it, too.

Games

Of course it wouldn’t be E3 without some game announcements, and they showed off quite a few.

  • Resident Evil 6
  • Tomb Raider
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Wreckateer
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Gears of War: Judgement
  • Dance Central 3
  • Forza: Horizon
  • Halo 4
  • Splintercell Blacklist
  • Madden 13
  • FIFA 13
  • Fable: The Journey
  • Lococycle
  • Ascend: New Gods

 

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About The Author

Avatar of Gord McLeod
Blogger & Editor at Large
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I'm a writer and game designer with a background covering everything from IT work to programming to the graphic arts. I'm intensely interested in everything game, gadget and science related. Find me at Fiction Improbable, my fiction writing website, at @gordmcleod on Twitter, and at my too.